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Genome study reveals clues to tortoises' longevity

The last known Galapagos tortoise, Lonesome George, was estimated to be 100 years old when he died in 2012, and researchers who compared George's genome with that of a different species of tortoise in the Aldabra Atoll discovered that both tortoises carried 12 copies of a gene that enables immune cells to kill invading or abnormal cells. Among the other findings, reported in Nature Ecology & Evolution, are an especially efficient variant of a DNA-repairing enzyme and duplicate genes associated with tumor suppression.

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